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Pierce County General Services Building: Growing Plans

Pierce County is asking for public comment on traffic mitigation for its proposed centralized General Services Building.

The Pierce County Department of Planning and Land Services has finished reviewing the environmental checklist (SEPA) and traffic study and issued a "Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance" on Jan. 26. The Determination lists the various ways the project must mitigate traffic and parking issues, including increased parking, signalization, improved lighting, signage, pedestrian crossings and increased handicap and bicycle parking.

The building at South 35th and Pacific is now planned to be nine stories and 334,000 square feet to accomodate 1,200 County workers from more than a dozen departments, including the Pierce County Health Department. The letter outlines plans to mitigate the traffic impacts of bringing all those employees under one roof. 

  • 1,100 parking spaces (spread over two surface lots and a two-level parking garage)
  • At least 21 handicap parking spaces
  • 75 long-term bike parking spaces for employee use
  • 8 short-term bike parking spaces for public use
  • 10 to 20 motorcycle spaces
  • Updates to the County's Commute Trip Reduction program
  • The developer will relocate the bus stops at Pacific and Division Lane and provide shelters at those stops
  • A bond provided to the City of Tacoma to address future parking and traffic calming measures "to include but not be limited to residential parking signage, a neighborhood parking program, speed bumps, or residential intersection improvements"
  • Improvements to the existing mid-block crosswalk at south Division Lane and Pacific Avenue
  • No access from the project site to South D Street
  • The developer will install a traffic signal on Pacific
  • Pedestrian crossing safety improvements will be made along Pacific and signage on SR-7 off-ramps notifying drivers that they are approaching pedestrian crossings
  • The developer will post signage restricting parking to local residents only on the west side of D Street, south side of 37th, and north side of Division Lane
  • An interpretive display to acknowledge the design of the Puget Sound Hospital 

Read the full letter here. The public is invited to submit comments on this determination. The deadline to comment is February 9, 2015. Find addressess and links to comment on the County's project page. The County Council is scheduled to vote on the project on February 17.

Visit the County project page for more details of plans for the new building, and take a look at the County's answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, including this one:

So you’re not leaving downtown?

We expect to fully occupy the county’s owned buildings on the downtown campus with approximately 1,000 employees. Put another way, we would consolidate operations into two campuses – the existing one downtown and the new campus just up the hill from the Tacoma Dome.

So, does this answer some questions for you?

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